Quantcast

Chills vs Rigors

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

firstdoc101

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
34
Reaction score
2

Members don't see this ad.
Please explain the difference in the context of a patient with pneumonia. I read on uptodate about mycoplasma pnuemonia pts are more likely to have chills than rigors..... I was always under the impression they were the same thing but this clearly indicates that they are two separate clinical symptoms.
Thanks!
 

howelljolly

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
2,059
Reaction score
10
As far as I know...
Chills are a subjective symptom, Rigors are a sign - shivering.
 

ranmyaku

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
252
Reaction score
1
As HowellJolly explained, I think the difference is also sign vs. symptom.
 

phassett74

New Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Always love these questions - makes me try to recall if I actually know the difference, or have just been using the words randomly.

From Tabers: "Chill - involuntary, rapid contractions of muscle groups (shivering) accompanied by the sensation of being cold, or sensation of being cold without shivering...Severe chills accompanied by violent shaking of the body are called rigors"

I can tell you, having actually had rigors last year for the first time in a very long time, they are quite unmistakable, and like night sweats, doubt most people know what they actually are.

Rigors = chills with BA Baracus attitude

As per the first example, mycoplasma pneumonia usually more mild and could have chills. Full-blown, butt-kicking pneumonia makes you much sicker, and can produce rigors.
 
Last edited:

adam6

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2004
Messages
146
Reaction score
3
Once you see actual rigors, you will never forget the difference from chills! When a pt rigors (from infection or secondary to an infusion/chemo reaction, etc), the nurses freak out, the med students freak out, you feel like freaking out... :)

It's very disconcerting to see the violent shaking... some people mistake it for a seizure. But if you get the cross coverage call, see the pt, recognize the picture as rigors -- give a bit o' demerol (DOC for rigors) -- you'll help the pt and come across as a star :) Obviously, you'll need to address what caused the rigors in the first place...
 

dragonfly99

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
5,090
Reaction score
50
supposedly pneumococcal pneumonia more commonly causes full-blown rigors than other types of bacterial pneumonia.
 

nasdr

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Once you see actual rigors, you will never forget the difference from chills! When a pt rigors (from infection or secondary to an infusion/chemo reaction, etc), the nurses freak out, the med students freak out, you feel like freaking out... :)

It's very disconcerting to see the violent shaking... some people mistake it for a seizure. But if you get the cross coverage call, see the pt, recognize the picture as rigors -- give a bit o' demerol (DOC for rigors) -- you'll help the pt and come across as a star :) Obviously, you'll need to address what caused the rigors in the first place...

great description; you will likely see this on heme/onc when a pt is getting IL-2 tx for melanoma or RCC
 

firstdoc101

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
34
Reaction score
2
Thanks all who had input, I think I get it now (even if i havent seen the rigors yet!)
 

farasha4ever

New Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
is it true that rigors cannot be stopped if a person holds the patient who is rigoring? whilst chills can be stopped if someone around holds the patient?
 
Top